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The Impact of Digital on global teams' interactions

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The Impact of Digital on global teams' interactions

A white paper from interviews conducted with global leaders about the impact of digital on corporate interactions in 2020. How is leadership impacted by new communication challenges and what solutions exist to handle better these new challenges!

A white paper from interviews conducted with global leaders about the impact of digital on corporate interactions in 2020. How is leadership impacted by new communication challenges and what solutions exist to handle better these new challenges!

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The Impact of Digital on global teams' interactions

  1. 1. © A l l r i g h t s re s e r ve d H AU T E C U LT U R E 2 0 2 0 HOW IS DIGITAL IMPACTING GLOBAL TEAMS’ INTERACTIONS ?
  2. 2. I N T R O D U C T I O N Globalization has shrunk the world and sped up communication faster than ever, while the frequency of interactions has evolved. Alongside with the growing use of technology, needless to say that the only strategic advantage left is people, and the way we enable them to interact together. As the internet has entered our lives, a new kind of communication has emerged, which we refer to as digital communication - in other words reading and writing using technology - suggesting real-time simultaneous communications, as well as integrating data. Today, much of companies' challenges arise due to the massive web of connections and communications between teams, enabled by globalisation. Add in the multiple of digital platforms and new technologies, plus the massive use of constantly updated data, and it’s irrefutable that digital has changed not only how society functions, but critically the relationship between people. With the raise of ‘common languages’, such as English and Data, we’ve never been so connected (and objective), or have we…?! The human brain is often hailed as the most complex object in the universe – probably because much of its complexity is due to the massive web of connections formed by its 10 billions of nerve cells; wouldn’t that be an interesting analogy to describe digital ?
  3. 3. Let’s consider a digital (data-driven) stat for a minute : 90%. A good one, right ? An excellent score even, no doubts ! So, let’s consider a 90% accuracy rate, within the supply chain area for example. Quite a performant result, isn’t it ? Fine, now let’s consider this same 90% accuracy stat, but this time within the healthcare business... how does that sound now ? GOOD, BAD ? LOW, HIGH ? (IN)EFFICIENT…?! What truly makes a company ‘digital ready’ throughout its transformational process is clearly not how well or fast it is able to get data, nor adopt technology, but rather about the digital culture across its workforce. Global companies are composed of people with very diverse thought processes. Neither the english language nor the data one will resonate the same across their walls, which quite naturally leads to key interrogations : v Are global teams culturally ready to embrace digital driven collaboration ? v Is ‘digital collaboration’ technology-driven, or culture-driven ? v How can companies and teams leverage digital interactions ? A QUICK ‘OBJECTIVE’ EXAMPLE BEFORE WE START…!
  4. 4. OBJECTIVES & METHODOLOGY Digital dependence often impedes proper information exchange. In face-to-face teams, participants can rely on nonverbal and contextual cues to provide insight into what’s going on. When we walk into an in-person meeting, for example, we can immediately sense the individual and collective moods of the people in the room — information that we use (consciously or not) to tailor subsequent interactions. Having to rely on digital communication erodes the transmission of this crucial type of intelligence, and that’s what we want to dig into ! Team members from diverse backgrounds often interpret a group’s goals or missions very differently From such a statement, we wanted to put together an instructive paper that would bring to life field experiences and spread awareness around the importance for companies to provide their teams with the appropriate frame and initiatives to ensure optimum collaboration and thus, reduce interaction gaps, still way too liable for so many businesses, some gone off the map… We gathered testimonials from numerous global leaders, spread across 12 cities, 9 countries and 4 continents and collected their feedbacks through phone interviews and surveys. You will find real life situations across this document to help you understand how to best address those challenges ! E N J O Y T H E R E A D I N G
  5. 5. S U M M A R Y GLOBALISATION OF WORK 2 GLOBAL WORKPLACE TRENDS 8 IMPACT ON LEADERSHIP 12 FEEDBACKS & SOLUTIONS 20 CONCLUSION 24 HEARD OF GLOBAL MINDSET ? 25 JOIN THE ‘ICQPRENEUR’ ECOSYSTEM 29 1
  6. 6. GLOBALISATION OF WORK The consequence of the globalisation of jobs and markets is the rise of what we might call "transnationals". These are a worldwide group of people who are able to relocate at any time, making decisions based on relative global employment trends and quality of life. This global elite, with hybrid associations among multiple cultures and societies, is building competencies that bridge societies in their leadership style, cultural sensitivities and social networks. Transnationals, able to speak more than one language, often carrying dual citizenship, are constantly changing the codes of cross-cultural communication that is so important for global organisations. 2 T h e r i s e o f ‘ Tra n s n a t i o n a l s '
  7. 7. It seems that now more than ever, even people in the remotest parts of the world are able to work on online global tasks and projects. Thus, whether you live in Uzbekistan, Uruguay or Rwanda, the state of your national economy is not necessarily affecting your ability to find work, as the global virtual market transcends national economies ! 3 V I R T U A L I Z A T I O N O F T H E W O R K P L A C E As a result of connectivity and globalisation, millions of jobs across the world are constantly evolving. Additionally, an increasing number of jobs can be outsourced to a region with lower wages, or can even be automatized/assisted by technology. Ever wonder what a remotely based highly-educated person in one country or another can actually do ? The Western's positional advantage in educating its population is rapidly eroding for higher skilled jobs as online education platforms are now connecting students in vast numbers, whilst enabling them to have very similar learning experiences, and work towards similar qualifications. This translates in young professionals in growing markets now having quite similar backgrounds as their counterparts in downtown New York, in the Silicon Valley or in Barcelona ! Being educated is one part of the work equation, but naturally follows the question of jobs, isn’t that right ?
  8. 8. 4 WHO CONSIDERSTHEMSELVES MOST DIGITALTODAY AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN FORTHE GLOBAL WORKFORCE ?
  9. 9. IF CERTAIN BUSINESS UNITS WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION ARE UNDERTAKING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION EFFORTS, WHICH ARE THOSE ? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% BOARD C-SUITE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CUSTOMER SERVICE HR INNOVATION IT LEGAL MARKETING PR PRODUCT R&D SALES If there’s one stake that truly makes the difference in adopting a digital culture, it’s by involving equally all business units. Unfortunately, quite too often, IT remains at the top of this transformational effort, being the unit we blame when not able to collaborate digitally… Source : Altimeter Digital Transformation Survey 2019, n=85 5
  10. 10. 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Using strategic investments and/or M&A to expand digital capabilities Training and/or hiring employees for/with new skill sets Formalizing innovation efforts or creating an innovation team to test new digital concept Modernizing the employee experience Creating a digital culture that's more literate and adaptable Corporate reorganization of people and teams to increase efficient digital collobarations Improve operational agility and modernize policies to encourage adaptability and change Accelerating innovation through formal programs Further reasearches into our customer's digital touchpoints and customer journey Investing in more intuitive mobile/ecommerce platforms Modernize IT infrastructures and technologies while increasing agility and flexibility Integrating all social, mobile, web efforts and investments to deliver integrated customer experience When asked about their long term initiatives, most companies’ leadership team placed key actions towards their customers as well as their IT infrastructures and capabilities. A quite lower number when it comes to internal strategic initiatives such as reorganizing people, creating an adaptable digital culture or even, training employees. Let’s then dig more into key global trends and see which of those initiatives seem to impact global interactions’ the most, and how. 6 WHICH INITIATIVES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOUR LONG-TERM DIGITAL EFFORTS ? Source : Altimeter Digital Transformation Survey 2019, n=85
  11. 11. G L O B A L W O R K L PA C E T R E N D S 7
  12. 12. K E Y T R E N D S S H A P I N G G L O B A L M A R K E T 8 NEW BEHAVIOR TECHNOLOGIES CROSS CULTURAL INTERACTIONS LEADERSHIP MULTI- GENERATIONAL WORKFORCE ENGAGEMENT
  13. 13. The rise of remote work has seen the fast increase of new habits and behaviours from the workforce. Now more than ever, our colleagues are constantly surprising us with new communication styles. According to a LinkedIn survey, 80% of companies agree that soft skills have become key to their success. Work flexibility has become the new norm.The challenge is how fast companies can provide it. Most companies have turned to technology to make it happen, while being able to keep control, and the result has been the rise of collaboratives tools to help employee perform their job more efficiently from distance. Offering flexibility has accompanied itself with greater diversity, co-workers collaborating on projects from any continent and time zones.This naturally leads to complexified interactions between people from incredibly different backgrounds and habits, as well as cultural and social groups. It’s not a matter of changing or offering (new) technology and flexibility, but rather about making sure diversity benefits the company. Reason why 2020 most wanted skills from CEOs are the soft skills. From emotional to cultural intelligence, leadership has turned gold to keep remote teams engaged. Engagement…? A US study reveals that 3 out of 4 american workers are unhappy at work. Same numbers across European studies, with over 76% of employees passively looking for new jobs. NEW BEHAVIOR & SOFT SKILLS CROSS CULTURAL INTERACTIONS TECHNOLOGIES & WORK FLEXIBILITY LEADERSHIP WORKFORCE ENGAGEMENT 9
  14. 14. G L O B A L T E A M L E A D E R S ’ F E E D B AC K S N E W B A H AV I O R S T E C H N O L O G Y C R O S S - C U LT U R A L I N T E R A C T I O N S E N G A G E M E N T “Now during digital meetings, people are on their phones, it’s really hard to get them to focus…” “Employees have become really impatient, they expect you to react almost immediately !” “ It’s so tricky to have people from such different cultural backgrounds and communication habits behind a screen, and not being able to perceive how they feel” “While implementing smoothly a new collaborative tool EMEA wise within our group, we suddenly bumped into strong reticent behaviors for our us business unit” “We are using tons of collaborative tools and we have no guidelines at all for their use” “Every time we onboard a new tool, the technology adoption time is highly variable from one team member to another” “For me, the hardest part is the lack of personal connection. I feel like I am not able to connect as much as I used to, which directly impacts my team’s engagement level” 10 “Let’s remind that the hardest part is not to learn a new behavior but rather let go of the former one!” “I must confess that it’s still very hard for me to expect the same form a US colleague than an Asian one, they are just so different, you just can’t”
  15. 15. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Work flexibility Diversity management Internal mobility Soft skills Digitalization 11 * sources : LinkedIn GlobalTrends Report EMEA 2019 &Workable survey on Future of Work May 2020 TOP 5 TRENDS TRANSFORMING THE WORKPLACE TO WATCH IN 2020 WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY POST-PANDEMIC PLAN?
  16. 16. T H E I M PA C T O N T E A M L E A D E R S H I P 12
  17. 17. We a s k e d i n t e r v i e w e e s t o d e s c r i b e a n d d e f i n e t h e i r c u r r e n t e n v i r o n m e n t a n d t h e t r e n d i s q u i t e c l e a r : T h e i r t e a m s a r e m o s t l y w o r k i n g r e m o t e l y a n d s p r e a d a c r o s s b o r d e r s , w h i l e t h e y p e r c e i v e t h e i r t e a m a s d i v e r s e . 13 H OW WO U L D YO U D E S C R I B E YO U R C O M PA N Y / T E A M E N V I RO N M E N T OV E R A L L ? * source: Google survey and interviews n=40 SPREAD ACROSS COUNTRIES WORKING REMOTELY HIGHLY DIVERSE QUITE DIVERSE DIGITAL READY
  18. 18. 14 Most interviewed global team leaders agree that digitalization has strongly reduced geographical barriers and thus allow them to collaborate with their team member flawlessly and communicate with them quite instantaneously regardless of their location. * source: Google survey and interviews n=40 STRONGLY AGREE AGREE NOT SURE DISAGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE REDUCING GEOGRAPHICAL BORDERS
  19. 19. 15 On the other hand, same interrogated panel also agrees that digitalization has significantly increased communication barriers * source: Google survey and interviews n=60 STRONGLY AGREE AGREE NOT SURE DISAGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE INCREASING COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES
  20. 20. 16 M O S T C O M M O N C H A L L E N G E S F A C E D W H I L E L E A D I N G G L O B A L T E A M S L AC K O F H U M A N C O N N E C T I O N M I S C O M M U N I C AT I O N U N C L E A R C O M PA N Y G U I D E L I N E S G E N E R AT I O N A L G A P L A N G UAG E B A R E E R A DA P TA B I L I T Y WO R K - L I F E B A L A N C E COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY CULTURAL DIFFERENCES DIGITAL KNOWLEDGE DEHUMANIZED INTERACTIONS OTHERS STRONGEST INTERACTION CHALLENGES * source: Google survey and interviews n=60
  21. 21. “My view is that the downside of digitalised interactions is the difficulty in creating a team culture with the risk of miscommunication due to cultural differences, and the overlap of our lives as we’re connected 24/7/365” “ Unfortunately, our company still mostly runs on email, which makes it really hard for me as a team leader since my team involves me in all communications… we’re talking about 200 to 300 emails daily. it gets hard to disconnect…” “Our company is fan of brand new tools, we are using so many of them! often times, I do not get a chance to catch it all, and I may miss important things happening…” “Most of the time, i get anxious before digital meetings with my spread time, as I often time feel nobody is paying attention. so now, I talk to 2 or 3 team members before each meetings” “In order to make myself understood from the most of my team, I had to grow a very direct communication style. I had few options but become straightforward, and it may not suit everyone…” “Our collaborative tools look promising at first, but then we soon realize that the information is all over the place! it could be nice to have some kind of moderator or coordinator to ensure out tools’ governance in my opinion” “Taking decision has strangely become the ‘easiest’ part of my job. the execution is now the tough part!”17 LEADERSHIP IN REAL LIFE
  22. 22. QUITE LIKELY QUITE UNLIKELY H OW L I K E LY WO U L D YO U S AY R E M OT E WO R K W I L L B E C O M E T H E N E W N O R M ? * source: ICQ survey May 2020 n=60 While interviewed leaders mostly agree that remote work will soon become the new norm when interacting with their teams, they are also quite unanimous on the fact that it will change things : NOT MUCH IT WILL CHANGE SOME THINGS IT WILL RADICALLY CHANGE THINGS WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT ON TEAMS' INTERACTIONS ? 18
  23. 23. v Digital is perceived as reducing geographical barriers v Digital is associated with an increase in communication challenges v Remote teams are perceived as generating diversity and being diverse v Cultural differences remain a key issue when leading global teams v Digital and technology don’t resonate the same across companies and teams 19 QUICK CHAPTER RECAP WHAT ABOUT YOU, WHAT DO YOU THINK ?
  24. 24. 20 F E E D B A C K S A N D S O L U T I O N S
  25. 25. W H AT A R E S O M E K E Y L E A D E R S H I P T R A I T S T H AT H AV E H E L P E D YO U I M P ROV E I N T E R AC T I O N S W I T H YO U R T E A M ? P A T I E N C E C O N F I D E N C E F L E X I B I L I T Y S H O W T H E E X A M P L E S E L F - A W A R E N E S S C O G N I T I V E S K I L L S L I S T E N I N G S K I L L S E M PAT H Y T R A I N I N G C O A C H I N G S K I L L S E F F E C T I V E C O M M U N I C AT I O N AVA I L A B I L I T Y M I N D F U L N E S S T R A N S A PA R E N C Y 21 On the other hand, we asked employees working remotely what support they generally seek from their leaders * source: Google survey and interviews n=60
  26. 26. 22 NOT SURE NO YES It seems like so far companies are essentially focusing on providing the workforce with training on how to use new tool they onboard rather than how to efficiently communicate through digital H AV E YO U E V E R H E A R D A B O U T D I G I TA L C O M M U N I C AT I O N T R A I N I N G S ? * source: Google survey and interviews n=40
  27. 27. When we asked them about the idea of implementing such a digital communication training, interviewees largely agreed on the benefits that these trainings could bring to their team and company COULD YOUR TEAM OR COMPANY BENEFIT FROM SUCH A TRAINING TO IMPROVE COLLABORATION AND INTERACTION ? 23 TOTALLY YES PROBABLY NOT SURE NO * source: Google survey and interviews n=40
  28. 28. C O N C L U S I O N 24 Across these interviews and surveys, the key datas to remember are the following ones : v An additional form of communication is rapidly expanding across global teams and the way the interact ; v This new form of communication is impacting global teams and their interactions through additional layers of frictions from technology ones to leadership ones ; v The workforce will have to develop new skills to better navigate and leverage these complex interactions ; v Digital collaboration is most likely culture-driven rather than technology-driven ; v Companies should most probably look into digital communication or cognitive trainings to best prepare their employee work towards a constantly evolving global setting in order to reduce the so liable interaction gap; “ If I had to state how digitalization has impacted interactions in the workplace, I'd say : Less hull effor t, more mind effor t ”
  29. 29. E V E R H E A R D O F G L O B A L M I N D S E T ? 25
  30. 30. Global mindset is the ability to absorb information and get a grasp of ‘cultural’ norms that are unfamiliar to us and be able to use them to impact this new environment. In other words, it is a capability that allows an individual to function in new and unknown situation and to integrate this new understanding with other existing skills and knowledge, without experiencing too much stress. 26 SELF AWARENESS CO N FID EN CE ADAPTABILITYCOGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY
  31. 31. 27 Cognitive flexibility has been described as the ability to switch between thinking about two different concepts, even to think about multiple concepts simultaneously. In order to be able to switch from one perspective to another, it is quite necessary to understand the blueprint of why people think differently. Adopting an adaptive mindset is a natural path to Cultural Intelligence (ICQ), which is the ability to leverage cultural differences, even influence them. The role of the team leader is to maximize the level of interaction in order to elevate the team to its highest potential, often times enabled by a high level of ICQ!
  32. 32. COGNITIVE DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE 28 Diversity is either the greatest asset or the biggest liability, and it all depends on our level of cultural intelligence. Inviting someone at a party does mean we have to ask him to dance! 90% of strategy is execution and 90% of execution is interaction… A proven way to get better chances to grow your cognitive flexibility is to build up your ICQ game and understand the blueprint of why people think and behave differently. And remember, don’t do to others what they don't want to be done unto them!
  33. 33. 29 T H E I C Q P R E N E U R E C O S Y S T E M
  34. 34. WHO ARE ICQPRENEURS ? Interaction Gap Best potential team score Actual team score ICQpreneurs are individuals who understand that on average 79% of team performance is lost or damaged due to clash of values and beliefs, leading to severe communication issues. 30
  35. 35. 31 ICQ goes way beyond nationalities; cultural differences are clashes of common senses, which often time are way bigger around us than on the other side of the globe ! 90% of business is interaction of people who think and behave differently, no matter where they come from or their skin color, their age or their native language. ICQpreneurs are aware of culture being a programing of the mind distinguishing group members from one another and thus, can program and train their brain to learn how to best respond to a perspective they are unfamiliar with, rather than react like the brain has been subconsciously programed to… GLOBAL = INTERCULTURAL ≠ INTERNATIONAL THE BIGGEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE IS MISUNDERSTANDING
  36. 36. 32 THE ICQPRENEUR TOOLBOX (Part 1) How can you measure ICQ and map your team’s cognitive diversity index ? I compared my personal results with a group of 20 individuals, coming from all over the world, from all ages and skin colors, filling the assessment in different native languages. The results reveal a quite low cognitive diversity index as well as a predominant style across the group. A perfect illustration of a misleading and tricky (visible) diversity layer ! D I S C Blindspot 60% Low diversity 40%
  37. 37. THE ICQPRENEUR TOOLBOX (Part 2) Example of a multicultural individual’s ICQ profile 33 Here is the perfect example of a bicultural individual, a transnational profile born in Argentina now living in Switzerland. The results are showing us that this individual’s preferences are globally leaning towards the Swiss style, except from the communication style. A consequence of the new culture code ? Or a capacity to read and adapt to it ?
  38. 38. Are you willing to go up the nonvisible diversity ladder and lead efficiently your global team to maximize digital cooperation by flexing your cognitive capability and adapt to your team’s communication and behavior styles ? 34 We are a consulting brand partnering with global companies willing to engage their multicultural teams, leveraging diversity through tailored talent acquisition and retention services. With over 10 years in the recruitment industry, mainly toward the international and digital scene, we are committed to helping our clients identify, engage with and successfully onboard intercultural leaders ! >>>>> Discover more here: www.haute-culture.co
  39. 39. O U R “ I C Q ’ PA RT N E R S Catenon is the multinational technology-based Executive Search Company, which strives to search for, assess and present candidates from around the world to their clients, wherever the stakeholders may be, thanks to a data powered inhouse web-model, and advanced digital consulting innovations. TBS Education is present today across 5 campuses: Toulouse, Paris, Barcelona, Casablanca and London. TBS is one of the few schools with triple international accreditation: EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. Open to the world, TBS has signed over 200 exchange agreements with major universities spread across the globe. Nearly 80 nationalities are interacting on a regular basis across our campuses! ICQ Global is dedicated to working with leaders and teams who have a clear vision and outstanding skills, but they are not sure why they are getting just a fraction of the results they are capable of. ICQ Global has combined the latest business data with academic research to develop the multi award- winning, internationally accredited portfolio of assessments, training and coaching to bring out the best in you and your team.
  40. 40. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS NEITHER DATA DRIVEN NOR TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN, BUT RATHER CULTURE DRIVEN

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